Take Five With Tom Fenton

Take Five with Tom Fenton: Reasons to Attend KubeCon North America 2022

At KubeCon you can learn and get a vibe for the direction that K8s is headed and discover how you need to position yourself and your company for these changes.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation's (CNCF) flagship Kubernetes (K8s) conference, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon (or simply KubeCon), will be held as a live event (with a virtual option) in Detroit Oct. 26-28, with a pre-event on Oct. 24-25. In this article, I will give five reasons why you should go to KubeCon this year. In a separate article, I listed my must-see sessions at the event.

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TAKE 1: It's the De Facto K8s Event of the Year
While other conferences may discuss K8s, and may even promote their K8s content in their promotional blurb, KubeCon is laser-focused on the topic. For the past seven years, it has become the place where KubeHeads get together to discuss and, in many cases, set the future for K8s and its accompanying eco system. If you use, manage or are even remotely interested in K8s, this is a conference you need to attend.

TAKE 2: Dive in Deep with the Pre-Events
The main conference will of course be filled with great sessions and keynotes, but there are two days of pre-event sessions on Oct. 24-25 that you won't want to miss. The main sessions at KubeCon are lightning fast and limited to an hour or so, but in the pre-sessions, you can spend hours -- or even the entire day -- delving into a specific subject. In the past, I attended Nigel Poulton's excellent all-day pre-event, "Getting Started with Kubernetes Hands-on Workshop," which was excellent. There are dozens of events ranging from K8s projects such as Envoy and Backstage to K8s Security. If you want an in-depth look at a specific technology, you should consider going a little early to attend a pre-event.

TAKE 3: Learn About Where K8s Is Headed
The pace at which K8s is growing is incredible. In less than a decade, K8s has radically changed the way we do IT, and we've seen many of the largest IT vendors change their business models to embrace K8s. To keep track of all the changes in K8s, its ecosystems and the infrastructure on which it runs is nigh impossible, but at KubeCon you can learn and get a vibe for the direction that it is headed and discover how you need to position yourself and your company for these changes.

TAKE 4: Hear Important Stories on the Show Floor
The show floor at KubeCon is my favorite place to be. Yes, all the big vendors will be there talking up their K8s story, but what I like to do is talk to the start-ups. One of the neat things that KubeCon does is that it actually makes it economically feasible for start-ups to attend the show and set up a booth so they can tell their story. In the past, I have seen a booth with one or two individuals one year, grow to a booth with 20 people the next and then get acquired by a major technology company by the third. The show floor is where you can talk to the people in the companies that are shaping the future of K8s.

TAKE 6: The Location Is Great
Last year's KubeCon was in San Diego with its perfect weather and sandy beaches. This year it will be in Detroit. Really? Really! Sure, Detroit has gone through some tough times, but this is home of Motown and the center of U.S. automobile manufacturing. Its location makes it an easy flight from anywhere in the U.S., it has reasonably-priced accommodations and, my favorite, some of the best automotive and technology museums. By most accounts, it also has a rising food scene. I can't wait to try some of Scotty Simpson's Fish & Chips, Slows Bar BQ, Detroit-style deep-dish pizza and Dutch Girl Donuts, all washed down with my favorite ginger ale, Detroit's own Vernors!

About the Author

Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 30 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 20 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware in Staff and Senior level positions. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on X @vDoppler.


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